Sounds Like a Scam

I have said before that if depicting Jesus’ death as a legal transaction ends up making God seem unjust, you might want to rethink your analogy. Likewise if depicting Jesus’ offer of salvation makes him sound like a Nigerian banker, you might want to rethink your imagery.   [Read more...]

PTCS

  David Hayward shared the above cartoon, about coping with post-traumatic church syndrome. It is a real condition. And for victims of abuse, a punching bag – whether literal or metaphorical – can play a crucial role in the healing process. But we also need to be careful. This is one of the reasons abuse [Read More...]

In Christ Alone

David French blogged about the Presbyterian Church USA removing the hymn “In Christ Alone” from its hymnal, because its authors refused a proposed change to the lyrics that did away with the notion of Christ’s death as satisfying God’s justice. It isn’t often that I agree with French, but I do when he writes: The [Read More...]

Spinning the Cross

David Hayward's latest cartoon will probably be controversial in some circles. But on one level, it reflects a very mainstream understanding of what happened in the early church. Jesus' followers thought he was destined to be king and restore the kingdom of David. They were so persuaded that, when the Romans crucified him, their belief [Read More...]

Hebrews 9: A Bloodbath

Hebrews 9 is the source of a couple of popular “memory verses” in conservative Evangelical circles. It was interesting to explore it in my Sunday school class today in a way that got at some key questions, both in terms of the exploration of the meaning of the text in its original context, and how [Read More...]

Gentiles and Crap

As we continued working our way through Hebrews today in my Sunday school class, the mention of the curtain (separating the holy place from the most holy place or “holy of holies”), and the lack of mention of the temple (the author focuses instead on the tabernacle), led us to a broader discussion of the [Read More...]

The Odious Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement

PZ Myers posted an entry on his blog with the title “Odious Christianity.” He is commenting on a tract that came his way which includes the following cartoon: After sharing it, he writes: Whoa, hang on there. How is justice served by punishing an innocent? So, with this judge, if I get a parking ticket [Read More...]

Class on the Crucifixion and Passion Narratives in the New Testament

Since this is another class without changing powerpoint slides, I’m making this one available as an mp3 podcast as well: [Read more...]

Torchwood: End of Days

This last episode of the first season of Torchwood, “End of Days,” focuses on precisely what it sounds like: the strange things that have been happening as a result of the rift in space and time becoming more active are being interpreted by religious groups as portents of “judgment day.” Ianto reads from Daniel, and [Read More...]

Galatians 3:13 and Romans 8:3 Without Penal Substitution?

Mike Bird posted on his blog Euangelion about a couple of my recent posts. Having addressed the first theme, inerrancy, in yesterday’s post, this one turns to the question of penal substitution. Since Mike asked specifically about Galatians 3:13 and Romans 8:3, I will make them the central focus of this post. Galatians 3:13 is [Read More...]


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